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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2012), Pages 3770-4240

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Valuation of Green Walls and Green Roofs as Soundscape Measures: Including Monetised Amenity Values Together with Noise-attenuation Values in a Cost-benefit Analysis of a Green Wall Affecting Courtyards
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3770-3788; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113770
Received: 16 July 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 2 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic unit values of soundscape/acoustic effects have been based on changes in the number of annoyed persons or on decibel changes. The normal procedure has been the application of these unit values to noise-attenuation measures affecting the noisier façade of a dwelling. [...] Read more.
Economic unit values of soundscape/acoustic effects have been based on changes in the number of annoyed persons or on decibel changes. The normal procedure has been the application of these unit values to noise-attenuation measures affecting the noisier façade of a dwelling. Novel modular vegetation-based soundscape measures, so-called green walls, might be relevant for both noisy and quieter areas. Moreover, their benefits will comprise noise attenuation as well as non-acoustic amenity effects. One challenge is to integrate the results of some decades of non-acoustic research on the amenity value of urban greenery into design of the urban sound environment, and incorporate these non-acoustic properties in the overall economic assessment of noise control and overall sound environment improvement measures. Monetised unit values for green walls have been included in two alternative cases, or demonstration projects, of covering the entrances to blocks of flats with a green wall. Since these measures improve the noise environment on the quiet side of the dwellings and courtyards, not the most exposed façade, adjustment factors to the nominal quiet side decibel reductions to arrive at an estimate of the equivalent overall acoustic improvement have been applied. A cost-benefit analysis of the green wall case indicates that this measure is economically promising, when valuing the noise attenuation in the quieter area and adding the amenity/aesthetic value of the green wall. Full article
Open AccessArticle Investigation into the Effect of Molds in Grasses on Their Content of Low Molecular Mass Thiols
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3789-3805; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113789
Received: 14 September 2012 / Revised: 16 October 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of molds on levels of low molecular mass thiols in grasses. For this purpose, the three grass species Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare and Festulolium braunii were cultivated and sampled during four [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of molds on levels of low molecular mass thiols in grasses. For this purpose, the three grass species Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare and Festulolium braunii were cultivated and sampled during four months, from June to September. The same species were also grown under controlled conditions. High-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection was used for quantification of cysteine, reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione, and phytochelatins (PC2, PC3, PC4 and PC5). Data were statistically processed and analyzed. Thiols were present in all examined grass species. The effect of fungicide treatments applied under field conditions on the content of the evaluated thiols was shown to be insignificant. Species influenced (p < 0.05) PC3 and GSSG content. F. pabulare, an intergeneric hybrid of drought- and fungi-resistant Festuca arundinacea, was comparable in PC3 content with L. perenne and F. braunii under field conditions. Under controlled conditions, however, F. pabulare had higher (p < 0.05) PC3 content than did L. perenne and F. braunii. Under field conditions, differences between the evaluated species were recorded only in GSSG content, but only sampling in June was significant. F. pabulare had higher (p < 0.05) GSSG content in June than did L. perenne and F. braunii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Impact of the Plastic BioSand Filter on Health and Drinking Water Quality in Rural Tamale, Ghana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3806-3823; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113806
Received: 20 August 2012 / Revised: 16 October 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1170 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
A randomized controlled trial of the plastic BioSand filter (BSF) was performed in rural communities in Tamale (Ghana) to assess reductions in diarrheal disease and improvements in household drinking water quality. Few studies of household water filters have been performed in this [...] Read more.
A randomized controlled trial of the plastic BioSand filter (BSF) was performed in rural communities in Tamale (Ghana) to assess reductions in diarrheal disease and improvements in household drinking water quality. Few studies of household water filters have been performed in this region, where high drinking water turbidity can be a challenge for other household water treatment technologies. During the study, the longitudinal prevalence ratio for diarrhea comparing households that received the plastic BSF to households that did not receive it was 0.40 (95% confidence interval: 0.05, 0.80), suggesting an overall diarrheal disease reduction of 60%. The plastic BSF achieved a geometric mean reduction of 97% and 67% for E. coli and turbidity, respectively. These results suggest the plastic BSF significantly improved drinking water quality and reduced diarrheal disease during the short trial in rural Tamale, Ghana. The results are similar to other trials of household drinking water treatment technologies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Diffusion of Influenza Outbreak-Related Climate Factors in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3824-3842; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113824
Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Influenza is one of the most important leading causes of respiratory illness in the countries located in the tropical areas of South East Asia and Thailand. In this study the climate factors associated with influenza incidence in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand, [...] Read more.
Influenza is one of the most important leading causes of respiratory illness in the countries located in the tropical areas of South East Asia and Thailand. In this study the climate factors associated with influenza incidence in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand, were investigated. Identification of factors responsible for influenza outbreaks and the mapping of potential risk areas in Chiang Mai are long overdue. This work examines the association between yearly climate patterns between 2001 and 2008 and influenza outbreaks in the Chiang Mai Province. The climatic factors included the amount of rainfall, percent of rainy days, relative humidity, maximum, minimum temperatures and temperature difference. The study develops a statistical analysis to quantitatively assess the relationship between climate and influenza outbreaks and then evaluate its suitability for predicting influenza outbreaks. A multiple linear regression technique was used to fit the statistical model. The Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were used in mapping the spatial diffusion of influenza risk zones. The results show that there is a significance correlation between influenza outbreaks and climate factors for the majority of the studied area. A statistical analysis was conducted to assess the validity of the model comparing model outputs and actual outbreaks. Full article
Open AccessArticle Examining Land-Use/Land-Cover Change in the Lake Dianchi Watershed of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau of Southwest China with Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques: 1974–2008
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3843-3865; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113843
Received: 28 August 2012 / Accepted: 15 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring land-use/land-cover change (LULCC) and exploring its mechanisms are important processes in the environmental management of a lake watershed. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of LULCC by using multi landscape metrics in the Lake Dianchi watershed, [...] Read more.
Monitoring land-use/land-cover change (LULCC) and exploring its mechanisms are important processes in the environmental management of a lake watershed. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of LULCC by using multi landscape metrics in the Lake Dianchi watershed, which is located in the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau of Southwest China. Landsat images from the years 1974, 1988, 1998, and 2008 were analyzed using geographical information system (GIS) techniques. The results reveal that land-use/land-cover has changed greatly in the watershed since 1974. This change in land use structure was embodied in the rapid increase of developed areas with a relative change rate of up to 324.4%. The increase in developed areas mainly occurred in agricultural land, especially near the shores of Lake Dianchi. The spatial pattern and structure of the change was influenced by the urban sprawl of the city of Kunming. The urban sprawl took on the typical expansion mode of cyclic structures and a jigsaw pattern and expanded to the shore of Lake Dianchi. Agricultural land changed little with respect to the structure but changed greatly in the spatial pattern. The landscape in the watershed showed a trend of fragmentation with a complex boundary. The dynamics of land-use/land-cover in the watershed correlate with land-use policies and economic development in China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Local Communities’ Willingness to Pay for River Network Protection: A Contingent Valuation Study of Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3866-3882; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113866
Received: 17 August 2012 / Revised: 3 October 2012 / Accepted: 15 October 2012 / Published: 26 October 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
River networks have experienced serious degradation because of rapid urbanization and population growth in developing countries such as China, and the protection of these networks requires the integration of evaluation with ecology and economics. In this study, a structured questionnaire survey of [...] Read more.
River networks have experienced serious degradation because of rapid urbanization and population growth in developing countries such as China, and the protection of these networks requires the integration of evaluation with ecology and economics. In this study, a structured questionnaire survey of local residents in Shanghai (China) was conducted in urban and suburban areas. The study examined residents’ awareness of the value of the river network, sought their attitude toward the current status, and employed a logistic regression analysis based on the contingent valuation method (CVM) to calculate the total benefit and explain the socioeconomic factors influencing the residents’ willingness to pay (WTP). The results suggested that residents in Shanghai had a high degree of recognition of river network value but a low degree of satisfaction with the government’s actions and the current situation. The study also illustrated that the majority of respondents were willing to pay for river network protection. The mean WTP was 226.44 RMB per household per year. The number of years lived in Shanghai, the distance from the home to the nearest river, and the amount of the bid were important factors that influenced the respondents’ WTP. Suggestions for comprehensive management were proposed for the use of policy makers in river network conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessArticle Leptospirosis Outbreaks in Nicaragua: Identifying Critical Areas and Exploring Drivers for Evidence-Based Planning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3883-3910; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113883
Received: 13 July 2012 / Revised: 21 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 September 2012 / Published: 26 October 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (6182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leptospirosis is an epidemic-prone zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide. In Central America, leptospirosis outbreaks have been reported in almost all countries; Nicaragua in particular has faced several outbreaks. The objective of this study was to stratify the risk and identify “critical areas” [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is an epidemic-prone zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide. In Central America, leptospirosis outbreaks have been reported in almost all countries; Nicaragua in particular has faced several outbreaks. The objective of this study was to stratify the risk and identify “critical areas” for leptospirosis outbreaks in Nicaragua, and to perform an exploratory analysis of potential “drivers”. This ecological study includes the entire country (153 municipalities). Cases from 2004 to 2010 were obtained from the country’s health information system, demographic and socioeconomic variables from its Census, and environmental data from external sources. Criteria for risk stratification of leptospirosis were defined. Nicaragua reported 1,980 cases of leptospirosis during this period, with the highest percentage of cases (26.36%) in León, followed by Chinandega (15.35%). Among the 153 municipalities, 48 were considered critical areas, 85 were endemic and 20 silent. Using spatial and statistical analysis, the variable presenting the most evident pattern of association with critical areas defined by top quintile of incidence rate is the percentage of municipal surface occupied by the soil combination of cambisol (over pyroclastic and lava bedrock) and andosol (over a volcanic ashes foundation). Precipitation and percentage of rural population are also associated with critical areas. This methodology and findings could be used for Nicaragua’s Leptospirosis Intersectoral Plan, and to identify possible risk areas in other countries with similar drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Increased Incidence and Altered Risk Demographics of Childhood Lead Poisoning: Predicting the Impacts of the CDC’s 5 µg/dL Reference Value in Massachusetts (USA)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3934-3942; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113934
Received: 17 September 2012 / Revised: 13 October 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 30 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In May 2012, the CDC adopted a new sliding scale reference value for childhood lead poisoning, reducing the former 10 µg/dL benchmark by half. Using Massachusetts (MA) as a model state, we estimated the change in the population of 9–47 month-olds at [...] Read more.
In May 2012, the CDC adopted a new sliding scale reference value for childhood lead poisoning, reducing the former 10 µg/dL benchmark by half. Using Massachusetts (MA) as a model state, we estimated the change in the population of 9–47 month-olds at risk for lead poisoning. We then examined the impact of the 5 µg/dL reference value on the demographic characteristics of lead risk in MA communities. We find that the new CDC benchmark will lead to a 1470% increase in childhood lead poisoning cases among 9–47 month-olds in MA, with nearly 50% of the examined communities experiencing an increased prevalence of lead poisoning. Further, the top 10 MA communities with BLLs ≥5 µg/dL have significantly fewer foreign-born residents and significantly larger white populations than the highest risk communities formerly identified by the MA Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. The CDC’s new 5 µg/dL lead poisoning benchmark will drastically increase the number of children with elevated BLLs and alter the distribution and demographics high-risk communities in MA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Forest Dynamics and Their Phenological Response to Climate Warming in the Khingan Mountains, Northeastern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3943-3953; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113943
Received: 8 August 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 26 October 2012 / Published: 31 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Khingan Mountain region, the most important and typical natural foci of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in China, is the largest and northernmost forest area and the one more sensitive to climate change. Taking this region as the study area, we investigated the [...] Read more.
The Khingan Mountain region, the most important and typical natural foci of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in China, is the largest and northernmost forest area and the one more sensitive to climate change. Taking this region as the study area, we investigated the spatio-temporal dynamics of deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) and its phenology changes in relation to climate change and elevation. Based on MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) time series over the period of 2001 to 2009, the start-of-season (SOS), length-of-season (LOS) and another two vegetation variables (seasonal amplitude (SA) and integrated EVI (SI)) were derived. Over the past decade, the DBF in Khingan Mountains has generally degraded and over 65% of DBF has experienced negative SA and SI trends. Earlier trends in SOS and longer trends in LOS for DBF were observed, and these trends were mainly caused by climate warming. In addition, results from our analysis also indicated that the effects of temperature on DBF phenology were elevation dependent. The magnitude of advancement in SOS and extension in LOS with temperature increase significantly increased along a raising elevation gradient. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perinatal Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Enhances Susceptibility to Viral and Secondary Bacterial Infections
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3954-3964; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113954
Received: 7 September 2012 / Revised: 24 October 2012 / Accepted: 26 October 2012 / Published: 31 October 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studies suggest childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) leads to increased incidence of infections of the lower respiratory tract. The objective of this study was to determine whether perinatal exposure to ETS increases the incidence, morbidity and severity of respiratory influenza [...] Read more.
Studies suggest childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) leads to increased incidence of infections of the lower respiratory tract. The objective of this study was to determine whether perinatal exposure to ETS increases the incidence, morbidity and severity of respiratory influenza infection and whether a secondary bacterial challenge at the peak of a pre-existing viral infection creates an enhanced host-pathogen susceptibility to an opportunistic infection. Timed-pregnant female Balb/c mice were exposed to either ETS for 6 h/day, 7 d/week beginning on gestation day 14 and continuing with the neonates to 6 weeks of age. Control animals were exposed to filtered air (FA). At the end of exposure, mice were intranasally inoculated with a murine-adapted influenza A. One week later, an intranasal inoculation of S. aureus bacteria was administered. The respective treatment groups were: bacteria only, virus only or virus+bacteria for both FA and ETS-exposed animals for a total of six treatment groups. Animal behavior and body weights were documented daily following infection. Mice were necropsied 1-day post-bacterial infection. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cell analysis demonstrated perinatal exposure to ETS, compared to FA, leads to delayed but enhanced clinical symptoms and enhanced total cell influx into the lungs associated with viral infection followed by bacterial challenge. Viral infection significantly increases the number of neutrophils entering the lungs following bacterial challenge with either FA or ETS exposure, while the influx of lymphocytes and monocytes is significantly enhanced only by perinatal ETS exposure. There is a significant increase in peribronchiolar inflammation following viral infection in pups exposed to ETS compared with pups exposed to FA, but no change is noted in the degree of lung injury between FA and ETS-exposed animals following bacterial challenge. The data suggests perinatal exposure to ETS alters the response of neonates to the timing and severity of infection as well as ETS alters the pattern of inflammation and cellular influx into the lungs due to viral and bacterial infection. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ambient Air Pollution Exposure and Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Mortality in Cape Town, South Africa: 2001–2006
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3978-4016; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113978
Received: 6 July 2012 / Revised: 9 October 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 5 November 2012
PDF Full-text (2378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Little evidence is available on the strength of the association between ambient air pollution exposure and health effects in developing countries such as South Africa. The association between the 24-h average ambient PM10, SO2 and NO2 levels and [...] Read more.
Little evidence is available on the strength of the association between ambient air pollution exposure and health effects in developing countries such as South Africa. The association between the 24-h average ambient PM10, SO2 and NO2 levels and daily respiratory (RD), cardiovascular (CVD) and cerebrovascular (CBD) mortality in Cape Town (2001–2006) was investigated with a case-crossover design. For models that included entire year data, an inter-quartile range (IQR) increase in PM10 (12 mg/m3) and NO2 (12 mg/m3) significantly increased CBD mortality by 4% and 8%, respectively. A significant increase of 3% in CVD mortality was observed per IQR increase in NO2 and SO2 (8 mg/m3). In the warm period, PM10 was significantly associated with RD and CVD mortality. NO2 had significant associations with CBD, RD and CVD mortality, whilst SO2 was associated with CVD mortality. None of the pollutants were associated with any of the three outcomes in the cold period. Susceptible groups depended on the cause-specific mortality and air pollutant. There is significant RD, CVD and CBD mortality risk associated with ambient air pollution exposure in South Africa, higher than reported in developed countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle Quantitative RT-PCR Detection of Hepatitis A Virus, Rotaviruses and Enteroviruses in the Buffalo River and Source Water Dams in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4017-4032; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114017
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 11 October 2012 / Accepted: 12 October 2012 / Published: 5 November 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human enteric viruses (HEntVs) are a major cause of water-related diseases. The prevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV), rotaviruses (RoV) and enteroviruses (EnV) in Buffalo River waters was assessed quantitatively over a period of 12 months (August 2010 to July 2011). Seventy-two [...] Read more.
Human enteric viruses (HEntVs) are a major cause of water-related diseases. The prevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV), rotaviruses (RoV) and enteroviruses (EnV) in Buffalo River waters was assessed quantitatively over a period of 12 months (August 2010 to July 2011). Seventy-two samples were collected from six sites, including three dams, and concentrated using the adsorption-elution method. Viral RNA was extracted using a commercial kit, and the viruses were quantified by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-qPCR). Two or more viruses were detected in 12.5% of the samples. HAV was detected in 43.1% of the samples and in significantly (p < 0.05) varying concentrations of 1.5 × 101–1.9 × 105 genome copies/L compared to RoV and EnV, while RoVs were detected in 13.9% of samples, with concentrations ranging from 2.5 × 101–2.1 × 103 genome copies/L, and EnV were detected in 9.7% of the samples, with concentrations ranging from 1.3 × 101–8.6 × 101 genome copies/L. Only HAV was detected at all the sites, with the Bridle Drift Dam recording significantly higher (p < 0.05) concentrations. The presence of enteric viruses in Buffalo River may constitute public health risks and the incidence of HAV at all the sites could reflect both the epidemiological status of hepatitis A and HAV persistence in the water environments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Use of a Deuterated Internal Standard with Pyrolysis-GC/MS Dimeric Marker Analysis to Quantify Tire Tread Particles in the Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4033-4055; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114033
Received: 21 September 2012 / Revised: 22 October 2012 / Accepted: 31 October 2012 / Published: 8 November 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pyrolysis(pyr)-GC/MS analysis of characteristic thermal decomposition fragments has been previously used for qualitative fingerprinting of organic sources in environmental samples. A quantitative pyr-GC/MS method based on characteristic tire polymer pyrolysis products was developed for tread particle quantification in environmental matrices including soil, [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis(pyr)-GC/MS analysis of characteristic thermal decomposition fragments has been previously used for qualitative fingerprinting of organic sources in environmental samples. A quantitative pyr-GC/MS method based on characteristic tire polymer pyrolysis products was developed for tread particle quantification in environmental matrices including soil, sediment, and air. The feasibility of quantitative pyr-GC/MS analysis of tread was confirmed in a method evaluation study using artificial soil spiked with known amounts of cryogenically generated tread. Tread concentration determined by blinded analyses was highly correlated (r2 ³ 0.88) with the known tread spike concentration. Two critical refinements to the initial pyrolysis protocol were identified including use of an internal standard and quantification by the dimeric markers vinylcyclohexene and dipentene, which have good specificity for rubber polymer with no other appreciable environmental sources. A novel use of deuterated internal standards of similar polymeric structure was developed to correct the variable analyte recovery caused by sample size, matrix effects, and ion source variability. The resultant quantitative pyr-GC/MS protocol is reliable and transferable between laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry and Environmental Analysis)
Open AccessArticle Scale-Up Approach in CATI Surveys for Estimating the Number of Foreign Body Injuries in the Aero-Digestive Tract in Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4056-4067; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114056
Received: 3 July 2012 / Revised: 22 October 2012 / Accepted: 8 November 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
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Abstract
Foreign body injuries are a well-known threat to children due to the high risk of ingestion of small objects and choking. In order to depict the epidemiological framework of such injuries, data are mostly available for hospitalizations and partially for emergency room [...] Read more.
Foreign body injuries are a well-known threat to children due to the high risk of ingestion of small objects and choking. In order to depict the epidemiological framework of such injuries, data are mostly available for hospitalizations and partially for emergency room visits. The hidden part of the phenomenon consisting of minor self-resolved injuries is still unknown. The purpose of this paper is to provide an estimate of the overall burden of such injuries in children in Italy. Our paper proposes the use of the scale up technique to overcome most of the pitfalls of classical techniques in the estimation of the number of children aged 0–14 that suffered a foreign body injury in 2004. Our results, based on a CATI survey on 1,081 women, show that the estimated number of children under 15 years that incurred in a foreign body injury was 15,829 (95% CI: 14,376–17,282), of these 12,844 were treated in hospital or in emergency department (95% CI: 11,535–14,153). The scale-up method in conjunction with a CATI survey provides a reliable estimate of the size of hard-to-count populations as those of injured children at lower costs with respect to classical sampling schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Drunk and Disorganised: Relationships between Bar Characteristics and Customer Intoxication in European Drinking Environments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4068-4082; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114068
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 5 November 2012 / Accepted: 8 November 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preventing alcohol-related harm in drinking environments is a growing international priority. Factors relating to the physical, social and staffing environments in bars can contribute to increased alcohol consumption and harm. Understanding the relationships between such factors and intoxication in European drinking environments [...] Read more.
Preventing alcohol-related harm in drinking environments is a growing international priority. Factors relating to the physical, social and staffing environments in bars can contribute to increased alcohol consumption and harm. Understanding the relationships between such factors and intoxication in European drinking environments is critical to developing appropriate interventions. We undertook a quantitative observational study in 60 bars in four European cities, in The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the UK (n = 237 observational visits). Using a structured observational schedule, researchers recorded characteristics of the bar environment and rated customer intoxication levels. All physical bar characteristics showed associations with intoxication before interactions between them were controlled for. Hierarchical modelling found significant independent associations between intoxication and use of plastic glassware, promotion of non-alcoholic drinks (often energy drinks), permissive environments, poor washroom facilities, the presence of a dance floor, customer sexual activity/competitiveness and later observational time. Findings suggest that prevention efforts should focus on raising and enforcing managerial standards in bars. While harm reduction measures such as plastic glassware are often promoted for high risk bars, such measures are inadequate to address public health concerns and insufficient to demonstrate social responsibility. Full article
Open AccessArticle Adaptation of Land-Use Demands to the Impact of Climate Change on the Hydrological Processes of an Urbanized Watershed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4083-4102; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114083
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 7 October 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adaptation of land-use patterns is an essential aspect of minimizing the inevitable impact of climate change at regional and local scales; for example, adapting watershed land-use patterns to mitigate the impact of climate change on a region’s hydrology. The objective of [...] Read more.
The adaptation of land-use patterns is an essential aspect of minimizing the inevitable impact of climate change at regional and local scales; for example, adapting watershed land-use patterns to mitigate the impact of climate change on a region’s hydrology. The objective of this study is to simulate and assess a region’s ability to adapt to hydrological changes by modifying land-use patterns in the Wu-Du watershed in northern Taiwan. A hydrological GWLF (Generalized Watershed Loading Functions) model is used to simulate three hydrological components, namely, runoff, groundwater and streamflow, based on various land-use scenarios under six global climate models. The land-use allocations are simulated by the CLUE-s model for the various development scenarios. The simulation results show that runoff and streamflow are strongly related to the precipitation levels predicted by different global climate models for the wet and dry seasons, but groundwater cycles are more related to land-use. The effects of climate change on groundwater and runoff can be mitigated by modifying current land-use patterns; and slowing the rate of urbanization would also reduce the impact of climate change on hydrological components. Thus, land-use adaptation on a local/regional scale provides an alternative way to reduce the impacts of global climate change on local hydrology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Insights into the Government’s Role in Food System Policy Making: Improving Access to Healthy, Local Food Alongside Other Priorities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4103-4121; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114103
Received: 6 August 2012 / Revised: 18 October 2012 / Accepted: 6 November 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
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Abstract
Government actors have an important role to play in creating healthy public policies and supportive environments to facilitate access to safe, affordable, nutritious food. The purpose of this research was to examine Waterloo Region (Ontario, Canada) as a case study for “ [...] Read more.
Government actors have an important role to play in creating healthy public policies and supportive environments to facilitate access to safe, affordable, nutritious food. The purpose of this research was to examine Waterloo Region (Ontario, Canada) as a case study for “what works” with respect to facilitating access to healthy, local food through regional food system policy making. Policy and planning approaches were explored through multi-sectoral perspectives of: (a) the development and adoption of food policies as part of the comprehensive planning process; (b) barriers to food system planning; and (c) the role and motivation of the Region’s public health and planning departments in food system policy making. Forty-seven in-depth interviews with decision makers, experts in public health and planning, and local food system stakeholders provided rich insight into strategic government actions, as well as the local and historical context within which food system policies were developed. Grounded theory methods were used to identify key overarching themes including: “strategic positioning”, “partnerships” and “knowledge transfer” and related sub-themes (“aligned agendas”, “issue framing”, “visioning” and “legitimacy”). A conceptual framework to illustrate the process and features of food system policy making is presented and can be used as a starting point to engage multi-sectoral stakeholders in plans and actions to facilitate access to healthy food. Full article
Open AccessArticle Suicidal Expression among School-Attending Adolescents in a Middle-Income Sub-Saharan Country
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4122-4134; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114122
Received: 21 August 2012 / Revised: 30 October 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 13 November 2012
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Abstract
We investigated correlates for suicidal expression among adolescents in the Seychelles. Data on 1,432 students (52% females) were derived from the Global School-based Health Survey. Participants were divided into three groups: those with no suicidal behavior (N = 1,199); those with suicide [...] Read more.
We investigated correlates for suicidal expression among adolescents in the Seychelles. Data on 1,432 students (52% females) were derived from the Global School-based Health Survey. Participants were divided into three groups: those with no suicidal behavior (N = 1,199); those with suicide ideation/SI (N = 89); and those reporting SI with a plan to carry out a suicide attempt/SISP (N = 139), each within a 12-month recall period. Using multinomial logistic regression, we examined the strength of associations with social, behavioral and economic indicators while adjusting for covariates. Sixteen percent of school-attending adolescents reported a suicidal expression (10% with a plan/6.2% without). Those reporting SI were younger (relative risk ratio RRR = 0.81; CI = 0.68–0.96), indicated signs of depression (RRR = 1.69; CI = 1.05–2.72) and loneliness (RRR=3.36; CI =1.93–5.84). Tobacco use (RRR = 2.34; CI = 1.32–4.12) and not having close friends (RRR = 3.32; CI = 1.54–7.15) were significantly associated with SI. Those with SISP were more likely to be female (RRR = 0.47; 0.30–0.74), anxious (RRR = 3.04; CI = 1.89–4.88) and lonely (RRR = 1.74; CI = 1.07–2.84). Having no close friends (RRR = 2.98; 1.56–5.69) and using tobacco (RRR = 2.41; 1.48–3.91) were also strongly associated. Having parents who were understanding was protective (RRR = 0.50; CI = 0.31–0.82). Our results suggest that school health promotion programs may benefit from targeting multiple factors associated with suicidal expression. More research, particularly multilevel designs are needed to identify peer and family influences which may modify associations with suicidality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Cross-sectional Study on the Effects of Socioeconomic Factors on Lead Exposure in Children by Gender in Serpong, Indonesia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4135-4149; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114135
Received: 31 July 2012 / Revised: 2 November 2012 / Accepted: 7 November 2012 / Published: 14 November 2012
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Abstract
To elucidate the socioeconomic factors influencing lead exposure in elementary school children by gender, 108 children (56 male, 52 female), aged 6–7 years, were randomly selected from 39 elementary state schools in Serpong, Banten, Indonesia. Their parents were interviewed to obtain information on sociodemographic characteristics. Their blood lead (BPb) levels were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. BPb concentrations were significantly higher in males than in females, i.e., 6.8 ± 2.0 (2.9–12.5) µg/dL and 5.9 ± 1.9 (3.1–11.7) µg/dL, respectively (p < 0.05). Lower socioeconomic status and well water use were associated with increased BPb concentrations, especially in females. The proportion of well water use was related to lower socioeconomic status. Lower socioeconomic status linked with well water drinking seemed to be associated with increased lead exposure in children in Serpong. Their exposure levels possibly varied according to gender differences in behavior. An intervention should be instituted among children in Serpong with BPb concentrations of 10 µg/dL or above. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Acrylamide in Food from China by a LC/MS/MS Method
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4150-4158; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114150
Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 23 October 2012 / Published: 14 November 2012
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Abstract
Acrylamide is potential carcinogenic compound that possesses neurotoxicity activity. In this study, the levels of acrylamide in 123 selected food samples from China was evaluated using a LC/MS/MS method. One hundred and fifteen (115) out of 123 samples showed positive levels of [...] Read more.
Acrylamide is potential carcinogenic compound that possesses neurotoxicity activity. In this study, the levels of acrylamide in 123 selected food samples from China was evaluated using a LC/MS/MS method. One hundred and fifteen (115) out of 123 samples showed positive levels of acrylamide in the range of 0.41 to 4,126.26 µg/kg. Generally, the highest acrylamide levels were found in fried products, such as potato, prawn strips and rice crust, with average values of 604.27, 341.40, and 201.51 µg/kg, respectively. Heated protein-rich food also showed some acrylamide content (ranging from 2.31 to 78.57 µg/kg). The results revealed that a potential acrylamide public health risk occurred in processed snacks, as well as the food consumed daily. This study supplied new information on acrylamide content of a variety of heat-treated foods from China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Benzo[a]pyrene in Food from China by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Fluorescence Detection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4159-4169; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114159
Received: 21 September 2012 / Revised: 22 October 2012 / Accepted: 31 October 2012 / Published: 14 November 2012
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Abstract
The occurrence and levels of benzo[a]pyrene in various heat-treated foods from China were evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence detection. In a total of 119 samples, 105 were found to contain benzo[a]pyrene at levels of 0.03 to 19.75 µg/kg. The benzo[a]pyrene contents in [...] Read more.
The occurrence and levels of benzo[a]pyrene in various heat-treated foods from China were evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence detection. In a total of 119 samples, 105 were found to contain benzo[a]pyrene at levels of 0.03 to 19.75 µg/kg. The benzo[a]pyrene contents in 12 animal source foods were higher than the Chinese maximum permissible level in food (5 µg/kg) and the highest level was 19.75 µg/kg, nearly four times the maximum permissible level. The results revealed a widespread carinogenic public health risk from benzo[a]pyrene in heat-treated foods. The highest benzo[a]pyrene levels were found in animal source samples such as charcoal-grilled and smoked meats, especially pork, beef and sausage, while trace levels of benzo[a]pyrene were present in grain food. Charcoal-grilled vegetables were found to also contain certain levels of benzo[a]pyrene. This study provided new information on benzo[a]pyrene content of a variety of heat-treated foods from China. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Statistical Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Land Use Intensity on Regional Surface Water Quality at Multiple Scales
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4170-4186; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114170
Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 29 October 2012 / Accepted: 9 November 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
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Abstract
Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use [...] Read more.
Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity were assessed and quantified for the year 2000 using multi-scale regression analysis. The results show that the log-transformed nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) index exhibited a relationship with chemical fertilizer input intensity and several natural factors, including soil loss, rainfall and sunlight at the first order watershed scale, while permanganate index (CODMn) had a positive relationship with another two input intensities of pesticides and agricultural plastic mulch and organic manure at the fifth order watershed scale. The first order watershed and the fifth order watershed were considered as the watershed adaptive response units for NO3-N and CODMn, respectively. The adjustment of agricultural input and its intensity may be carried out inside the individual watershed adaptive response unit. The multiple linear regression model demonstrated the cause-and-effect relationship between agricultural land use intensity and stream water quality at multiple scales, which is an important factor for the maintenance of stream water quality. Full article
Open AccessArticle Characteristics and Trends of Hospitalized Pediatric Abuse Head Trauma in Wuhan, China: 2002–2011
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4187-4196; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114187
Received: 20 October 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 12 November 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
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Abstract
This study investigated characteristics and trends of hospitalized abuse-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) treated at a large pediatric medical center in Wuhan, China during the past 10 years. De-identified hospital discharge data for patients 0–4 years old hospitalized at the Wuhan Medical [...] Read more.
This study investigated characteristics and trends of hospitalized abuse-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) treated at a large pediatric medical center in Wuhan, China during the past 10 years. De-identified hospital discharge data for patients 0–4 years old hospitalized at the Wuhan Medical Care Center for Women and Children were analyzed, and ICD-10 codes were used to identify cases of TBI. Medical notes provided by doctors in the medical record were used to identify TBI cases in which suspected child abuse was the cause. From 2002 to 2011, 3,061 pediatric TBI patients were hospitalized and 4.6% (140) of these cases were suspected child abuse-related. The majority of suspected child abuse cases involved children younger than 1 year of age (68.6%) and usually affected males (63.6%). Children with non-Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) were more likely to have full recovery outcome (68.4%, 95% CI: 66.6%–70.0%) than children with suspected AHT (44.3%, 95% CI: 36.1%–52.5%). The proportion of all childhood TBI attributable to abuse did not appear to have increased in the 10-year period at this medical center. This is the first comprehensive study highlighting the important role of suspected child abuse in causing TBIs among Chinese children. Child abuse as a major cause of TBIs among infants in China should be studied further, and there should be greater awareness of this important social and medical problem in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle HIV/AIDS and Associated Conditions among HIV-Infected Refugees in Minnesota, 2000–2007
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4197-4209; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114197
Received: 9 July 2012 / Revised: 31 October 2012 / Accepted: 9 November 2012 / Published: 16 November 2012
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Abstract
In 2010, the requirement for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing of adult refugees prior to US resettlement was removed, thus leading to a potential for missed diagnosis. We reviewed refugee health assessment data and medical charts to evaluate the health status of [...] Read more.
In 2010, the requirement for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing of adult refugees prior to US resettlement was removed, thus leading to a potential for missed diagnosis. We reviewed refugee health assessment data and medical charts to evaluate the health status of HIV-infected refugees who arrived in Minnesota during 2000–2007, prior to this 2010 policy change. Among 19,292 resettled adults, 174 were HIV-infected; 169 (97%) were African (median age 26.4 (range: 17–76) years). Charts were abstracted for 157 (124 (79%) with ≥1 year of follow-up). At initial presentation, two of 74 (3%) women were pregnant; 27% became pregnant during follow-up. HIV clinical stage varied (59%, asymptomatic; 11%, mild symptoms; 10%, advanced symptoms; 3%, severe symptoms; 17%, unknown); coinfections were common (51 tuberculosis, 13 hepatitis B, 13 parasites, four syphilis). Prior to arrival 4% had received antiretrovirals. Opportunistic infections were diagnosed among 13%; 2% died from AIDS-related causes. Arrival screening may be needed to identify these HIV-infected refugees and prevent HIV-related morbidity and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Open AccessArticle Premenstrual Symptoms in Dysmenorrheic College Students: Prevalence and Relation to Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4210-4222; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114210
Received: 27 September 2012 / Revised: 5 November 2012 / Accepted: 7 November 2012 / Published: 16 November 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of premenstrual symptoms (PMS) due to primary dysmenorrhea among a sample of university female students, and to explore possible association with vitamin D and parathyroid (PTH) levels, as well as frequency of consumption of dairy products. Design: [...] Read more.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of premenstrual symptoms (PMS) due to primary dysmenorrhea among a sample of university female students, and to explore possible association with vitamin D and parathyroid (PTH) levels, as well as frequency of consumption of dairy products. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: One Jordanian university. Subjects: A total of 177 female students aged between 18 and 24 years who experienced primary dysmenorrhea participated in the study and completed a self administered questionnaire to collect information concerning demographics, menstruation- related information, associated specified premenstrual symptoms, and consumption of dairy products. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin vitamin D level and intact parathyroid hormone level were measured. Results: Of the 177 participants 91.5% had two or more symptoms among which fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, abdominal bloating, and depression were the most prevalent symptoms. There was no evident association between presence of symptoms and vitamin D status, PTH level or dairy products consumption. Headaches and social withdrawal were significantly lower in those women who consumed high amounts of dairy products. Conclusion: Premenstrual symptoms are very common in young women with primary dysmenorrhea. PMS has no relation to levels of vitamin D, parathyroid hormone or dairy products consumption. Headache and social withdrawal may be affected by dairy product consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integral Dose and Radiation-Induced Secondary Malignancies: Comparison between Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy and Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4223-4240; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114223
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 19 October 2012 / Published: 19 November 2012
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Abstract
The aim of the present paper is to compare the integral dose received by non-tumor tissue (NTID) in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with modified LINAC with that received by three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), estimating possible correlations between NTID and radiation-induced secondary [...] Read more.
The aim of the present paper is to compare the integral dose received by non-tumor tissue (NTID) in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with modified LINAC with that received by three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), estimating possible correlations between NTID and radiation-induced secondary malignancy risk. Eight patients with intrathoracic lesions were treated with SBRT, 23 Gy × 1 fraction. All patients were then replanned for 3D-CRT, maintaining the same target coverage and applying a dose scheme of 2 Gy × 32 fractions. The dose equivalence between the different treatment modalities was achieved assuming α/β = 10Gy for tumor tissue and imposing the same biological effective dose (BED) on the target (BED = 76Gy10). Total NTIDs for both techniques was calculated considering α/β = 3Gy for healthy tissue. Excess absolute cancer risk (EAR) was calculated for various organs using a mechanistic model that includes fractionation effects. A paired two-tailed Student t-test was performed to determine statistically significant differences between the data (p ≤ 0.05). Our study indicates that despite the fact that for all patients integral dose is higher for SBRT treatments than 3D-CRT (p = 0.002), secondary cancer risk associated to SBRT patients is significantly smaller than that calculated for 3D-CRT (p = 0.001). This suggests that integral dose is not a good estimator for quantifying cancer induction. Indeed, for the model and parameters used, hypofractionated radiotherapy has the potential for secondary cancer reduction. The development of reliable secondary cancer risk models seems to be a key issue in fractionated radiotherapy. Further assessments of integral doses received with 3D-CRT and other special techniques are also strongly encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)

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Open AccessReview Treatment of Diarrhoea in Rural African Communities: An Overview of Measures to Maximise the Medicinal Potentials of Indigenous Plants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3911-3933; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113911
Received: 10 August 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 14 September 2012 / Published: 26 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diarrhoea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in rural communities in Africa, particularly in children under the age of five. This calls for the development of cost effective alternative strategies such as the use of herbal drugs in the treatment [...] Read more.
Diarrhoea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in rural communities in Africa, particularly in children under the age of five. This calls for the development of cost effective alternative strategies such as the use of herbal drugs in the treatment of diarrhoea in these communities. Expenses associated with the use of orthodox medicines have generated renewed interest and reliance on indigenous medicinal plants in the treatment and management of diarrhoeal infections in rural communities. The properties of many phenolic constituents of medicinal plants such as their ability to inhibit enteropooling and delay gastrointestinal transit are very useful in the control of diarrhoea, but problems such as scarcity of valuable medicinal plants, lack of standardization of methods of preparation, poor storage conditions and incertitude in some traditional health practitioners are issues that affect the efficacy and the practice of traditional medicine in rural African communities. This review appraises the current strategies used in the treatment of diarrhoea according to the Western orthodox and indigenous African health-care systems and points out major areas that could be targeted by health-promotion efforts as a means to improve management and alleviate suffering associated with diarrhoea in rural areas of the developing world. Community education and research with indigenous knowledge holders on ways to maximise the medicinal potentials in indigenous plants could improve diarrhoea management in African rural communities. Full article
Open AccessReview Carbonic Anhydrase as Pollution Biomarker: An Ancient Enzyme with a New Use
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3965-3977; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113965
Received: 13 September 2012 / Revised: 12 October 2012 / Accepted: 26 October 2012 / Published: 1 November 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The measurement of cellular and sub-cellular responses to chemical contaminants (referred to as biomarkers) in living organisms represents a recent tool in environmental monitoring. The review focuses on carbonic anhydrase, a ubiquitous metalloenzyme which plays key roles in a wide variety of [...] Read more.
The measurement of cellular and sub-cellular responses to chemical contaminants (referred to as biomarkers) in living organisms represents a recent tool in environmental monitoring. The review focuses on carbonic anhydrase, a ubiquitous metalloenzyme which plays key roles in a wide variety of physiological processes involving CO2 and HCO3. In the last decade a number of studies have demonstrated the sensitivity of this enzyme to pollutants such as heavy metals and organic chemicals in both humans and wildlife. The review analyses these studies and discusses the potentiality of this enzyme as novel biomarker in environmental monitoring and assessment. Full article

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